14-Year-Old Charged With Attempted Murder

By: Candace Barnette Email
By: Candace Barnette Email

Jaylon Ruffin's arrest comes after a shooting in the 3800 block of 42nd Street in Meridian. Police say only one person was shot. The victim was transported to a local hospital where he was previously in critical condition. Although Ruffin is only 14-years-old, he is being charged as an adult with attempted murder. Something District Attorney Bilbo Mitchell says he's seeing more and more frequently.

"I actually tried a kid for manslaughter that was 13. And that was a long time ago. I promise you he looked like a baby across the court room from me," Mitchell says.

But Mitchell says this doesn't mean there's an increase in crimes, just a shift in who's committing them. More and more teenagers like Ruffin.

"The rate of crime has not really gone up. The big thing that's been in the news lately is how young the people are that are committing the crimes. Armed robberies, murders, those kind of crimes with weapons," he explains.

The district attorney says they speculate that this recent change in demographic with more and more young people committing crimes comes from an increase in gang related activities. And now police are working harder than ever to find those responsible.

They're working to charge those who force these younger individuals into committing crimes.

"We speculate that it's gang related, and that it's some kind of initiation," Mitchell says. "We've also started charging adults with having youths commit crimes."

He says many people have youths commit crimes because they assume that they'll be handled through the youth court. But anytime a crime is committed with a weapon, youths 13 years of age or older are tried as adults.


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